Gamecocks Wrap Up Regular Season with Alabama, #12/1 Georgia
Jan. 30, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's swimming and diving team will look to put together a strong performance in their final meet of the 2009 dual meet season as they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a double-dual with the host Crimson Tide and No. 12/1 Georgia. The meet is set to get underway at 11 a.m. Central time at the Alabama Aquatic Center.
South Carolina's women enter the meet with a 5-3 record, 1-1 in SEC competition. The Gamecock men are 3-4, 0-1 in SEC meets.
The three teams met last season in a double-dual meet in Columbia with the Bulldogs sweeping both the Gamecocks and the Crimson Tide. Alabama and South Carolina split their respective meet with the Alabama men and the South Carolina women emerging victorious.
In South Carolina's last visit to Tuscaloosa, the Gamecocks set numerous personal bests and broke one school record at the 2008 SEC Championships. Senior Nicholas Walkotten will return to the site where he set a Carolina record in the 200-yard butterfly and earned a second-place finish in the event, giving South Carolina its first All-SEC performer since the 2001 season.
Georgia's No. 1-ranked women (7-0, 3-0 SEC) are looking to complete their ninth undefeated regular season in 13 years. The 12th-ranked Georgia men (3-4, 0-3 SEC), however, look to get their first conference dual meet wins of the season. Alabama's men (2-4, 0-3 SEC) are also looking to get in the win column in SEC dual meet competition, while the Crimson Tide women (4-2-1, 1-2-1 SEC) are seeking a strong performance heading into the SEC Championships.
South Carolina's men are 8-16 all-time against the Crimson Tide and 16-24 in dual meets with the Bulldogs. Last season, the Gamecocks dropped both contests, losing a 184-116 decision to Alabama and falling 189-105 to Georgia. For the women, a win over Alabama would pull the all-time series even at nine wins apiece as South Carolina has won the last five meetings with the Crimson Tide. The Gamecock women are 4-21 all-time against the Bulldogs. In 2008, Carolina took a 155-145 decision over Alabama but fell 185-109 to the Lady Bulldogs.
Heading into the final meet before SEC Championship competition, the Gamecocks currently have all seven divers qualified for NCAA Zone competition. Helen Alvey, Allison Barr, Ali Lane, Morgan Ricke and Taryn Zack have all posted zone scores for the women, while Corry Christian and Ryan Kuser hold qualifying marks for the men. In addition, four Gamecock swimmers - two men and two women - have posted NCAA `B' cut times during the season. Kyle Cormier has cut times in the 200 freestyle and the 200 IM, while Walkotten is qualified in the 100 and 200 butterfly. For the women, Sharntelle McLean has a cut time for the 50 freestyle while Megan Sparks is under the time for the 100 backstroke.
For a full report following the meet and the latest on South Carolina swimming and diving, log on to GamecocksOnline.com.